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Title: Co-opting culture : state intervention in, and party patronage of, literary and popular culture, 1929-1941
Author: Barnfield, Graham William
ISNI:       0000 0001 3446 5795
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1996
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The economic slump of the 1930s heralded a new era of crisis in the United States. It also led to innovative strategies of cultural patronage, the latter being defined herein as the relationship between a provider of protection and material support, and a cultural practitioner, whose production was oriented toward the needs of the patron. Such patterns form the basis of this study. Although initially examining the federal government's attempt to fund artists and writers, a specific cultural strategy that was part of the Roosevelt administration's more general counter-crisis activity, the study introduces a comparative dimension by discussing the responses of the organised literary left to the Depression. This emphasis also unearths a significant secondary problematic, that of the selective amnesia concerning the 1930s which has constructed a number of 'orthodox' readings of the period. Given the 'common sense' character of such mythology, the study has drawn upon an intentionally broad range of sources in order to present an alternative narrative. This has allowed for the identification of a number of common themes across federally-funded culture and that of the left: namely, egalitarianism, a realist approach to representation, and an underlying 'documentary impulse'. We can then see how a sense of crisis became embedded in cultural production, serving as a permanent reminder of economic breakdown and its consequences. An assessment is made of the influences and interplay of various factors, primarily crisis and patronage, which through the medium of the state and the organised left intelligentsia are brought to bear on the direction, appropriation, form and content of cultural practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cultural patronage